The Relevance Of A Trademark
Generally, a trademark refers to a word, a phrase, a symbol, or a logo that serves to identify or distinguish the main source of the goods or services as provided by a person or a company from other forms of business.
The list that comprises the trademark is actually long. But to make it simple, the trademark can likewise be granted to every unique packaging like a product item or a building design, sound, color, and fragrance as well. The service marks, on the other hand, are also entitled to the same amount of legal protection. However, they must be distinguished as such and should not be placed under the same category with the products.
The business can hence be granted a trade or service mark through its consistent use. When you don't register your mark regardless of the length of time you have been using it, then another company surfaces and utilizes the same, you are left unprotected. You can't prove your ownership though.
The good side of trademark registration is that you don't necessarily need to visit its physical office. You can simply log in to the website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO. You will be charged with a registration fee for every logo, name, or slogan. By means of federal registration, it is ensured that another party is going to be hindered from using your mark. A registered trademark then grants you the exclusivity of the rights in the usage of a mark concerning your services or goods.
Nevertheless, the USPTO is only capable of registering the trademarks for the marks that are being utilized within its state lines. There are some requirements that are essential to be able to qualify for the application.
When you see the ® symbol, that means a mark is duly registered and at the same time approved by the USPTO. Meanwhile as the application is running for completion, the SM or TM symbol can be used first to express your intention of establishing the mark into a trademark. However, it will become your obligation to keep your records of the first time when the mark was used for commerce.
Trademark Attorney vs. Trademark Research Firm
If you are confused as to which one to employ in your application, you must know first how they differ. The trademark research firm will do the trademark name search for you. This will help validate the legality of the mark that you prefer to establish and register. Hiring its services will also be less costly. However, you need to be careful to ensure that the firm is abreast of both of the federal and state trademark records along with the common law listings.
On the other hand, hiring a trademark attorney will be better if you believe you need legal counsel every step of the way. A good attorney knows everything and that means you are in good hands.
So, let this be your guide in understanding the relevance of a trademark and its registration.
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